Bride and groom dancing at their wedding party.

Using Slow Shutter Speed with Flash at a Wedding Party

Last week I visited my brother-in-law’s wedding and the succeeding wedding party. I decided to capture the vibrance of the event by using a slow shutter speed and a modest flash.

The venue that hosted the wedding party, was pretty dark. Not using a flash was not an option and using a standard flash would have blown away all the ambiance and movement. So I opted for a slow shutter speed. This would catch all the colorful disco lights and the movement of my subjects. To avoid completely blurry photos, I used a modest flash to freeze my subjects in time.

Bride dancing the polonaise (a conga line)
Bride dancing the polonaise (a conga line)
ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/4-second exposure

As you can see in the photo above, I chose a shutter speed of one-fourth of a second. This caught the red, green, purple and blue disco lights and some movement by the subjects. The flash fires in a split second. No matter how long you set your exposure time, the flash will freeze your subjects. Combining a slow shutter speed with flash can create very nice effects.

Bride and groom dancing at their wedding party
Bride and groom dancing at their wedding party.
ISO 250, f/4.5, 1-second exposure

In this photo, you can see more movement. That’s because I upped the exposure time to one second. The flash helps to freeze the subjects, but you can still see movement caused by motion blur.

Bride dancing
Bride dancing
ISO 200, f/4.5, 1/2-second exposure

Here you see the bride illuminated by the moving red and blue lights. If I would have opted for a fast shutter speed, only a fraction of the party lights would have hit the camera sensor. This would have resulted in a very dull photo.

Dancing in the Dark
Dancing in the Dark
ISO 6.400, f/4.5, 1/250-second exposure

This last photo illustrates what would happen, if I wouldn’t have used a flash. I would have had to raise my ISO a lot. Which I try to avoid, because my camera doesn’t handle high ISO’s very well. Apart from that, I would have had to use a high shutter speed. This would result is a very dark and noisy photo. I still kind of like this photo though.

Have you yourself used flash combined with a slow shutter speed, or is this not your cup of tea? I’d like to hear what you think in the comments below!

Sander


If you enjoyed reading this article, why not subscribe to my blog? You can follow my blog via email by signing up on this page. If you’re a WordPress user, you can sign up by clicking the WordPress button. You’d make my day!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: